Monday, June 27, 2011

Debbie Downer

I have been avoiding you or is it the other way around? I'm tired (quite literally) of writing about the physical challenges my running body has endured since Boston in April. I hate to be a "downer Debbie" by continuing to write about it, but life isn't always fluffy dogs and apple pie. Sometimes it's dog shit and sour apples. Glad to have got that off my chest. Phew! Two things have been kicking my ass; fatigue and a sore left hip. I've been actively working the former, and in denial on the later.

After taking a month off from running, I jumped in with the only speed I know, and quickly felt "back to square one" on the fatigue. I was going to say, it's hard to explain, but it's really not. I'm just tired and don't have the speed and adrenaline I'm used to on faster runs. I've written here about the nature med Dr. I've been seeing that's trying to get to the bottom of the fatigue thing; lots of blood work, infusions of iron, and a spit test. The only thing they haven't asked for is a sperm sample. At least that would be funner than the other tests (was that my outside voice?...I forgot this is a family-rated blog.) I'm scheduled to discuss some of the results this week with Dr. Boulder, but a work trip may be shifting that around a bit. At least I'm working through that one. The sore hip...yes...I've been holding out on you on that one. It has been hurting for two months now and even my infamous foam roller hasn't done the trick. I've hit the chiropractor, massage therapist, and physical therapist, but the hip is still "pist."

Last week, I went to take pictures of the hip. I can handle the minor stuff; pulls, sprains, strains, but I wanted to make sure there was not something else going on. X-Rays were negative with a diagnosis of hip trochanteric bursitis. Due to all the above, I have all but eliminated any notion of running in the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon in August which pains me. My run PT suggests I take the rest of the year off with emphasis on cross-training and maybe 3 runs a week at 70% of my maximum heart rate. I'm in the fourth week of that delightful program. I got biking gloves for Father's Day. Not sure if that was a heartfelt gift or a cruel joke for a runner to get on Dad's day.

Sooooo, "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

I'd like to put a positive spin on this so I don't lose the few people that read this so here it goes;

I haven't heard anyone say, "you're too skinny" lately. (I've put on a few pounds.)

Saturdays without the alarm clock going off at 4-5AM. What a concept. There's lots of things to do on a Saturday morning I've discovered.

I haven't had to buy a new pair of shoes in six months. Think of the money I'm saving!

Shot bloks. I used to go through them like a college kid goes through cheap beer. A six pack goes a long way when you max out at a few four mile jogs a week.

Strength training! I'm considering this an extended off-season so I'm working on core strength; arms, abs, hips, quads, hammies.

So if you've wondered where I've been, you now know. It's difficult to hang out with runners when I can't train for marathons or hang in my virtual world and talk about "not" running on DailyMile and Twitter. Once again, the blog name seeks appropriate, "Seeking Boston Marathon" as I'm on a quest to get there again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Gliding Stride

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heart of Gold

Marathon runners often get the befuddled look from the non-runner who cannot understand why you would want to run 26.2 miles. Also known as the "what are you f'ing crazy?" look. While I have pondered the notion of an Ironman, I must admit I have the same befuddled thoughts when I talk to an ultra marathon runner. After most of my races, my body cannot endure another mile so I can't fathom running another 24 or another 74. Insane. I have the utmost respect for someone that can run 50 to 100 miles. I'm not even sure what a 50K is.

My respect meter hit a whole other plateau (not to be confused with my training plateau--that's another blog for another day) when I met Bob. I got to know Bob Alexander on twitter as @Heart_Inspired. Heart inspired indeed. Bob was attempting to run 100 miles (impressive) in 24 hours (more impressive) on a treadmill (insane or impressive...I'm not sure which) a mere two years after having open heart surgery (uber impressive.) Bob suffered from a congenital heart defect and underwent surgery in December, 2009. Bob's story struck a chord with me since my niece, Alana, was born with Downs Syndrome and a congenital heart defect. While most hearts have four chambers, Alana had one. She underwent heart surgery herself as an infant and had a hard time even pushing herself up off her stomach. She always wore a smile and unfortunately, our family lost our dear Alana before her first birthday.

Given my connection to congenital heart defects, you can understand why I marked Bob's event on my calendar and felt compelled to go meet this guy. I only knew Bob from my online running world. I arrived an hour after he'd begun at Lifetime Fitness Center in Centennial, Colorado. All three of the local T.V. stations were there earlier, and I had Bob all to myself when I introduced myself an hour into his run. Akin to meeting a twitter or DailyMile run peep for the first time that you'd got to know in the virtual world, we both instantly connected once I shared by twitter name (seeksboston26mi.) He had a strategy to hit the 100 mile mark that he shared in the video below which included walk breaks. I was able to interview him and catch some big video during one of those breaks.

Heart of Gold from Ty Godwin on Vimeo.

Getting a second lease on life, Bob took to running after surgery and wanted to give purpose to his training. Bob was running 100 miles to raise money and awareness for the Lifetime Foundation which provides education and awareness for children's obesity and improved nutrition. Amazingly, Bob's condition went undetected until his adult years with a condition known as Severe Mitral Regurgitation--more than 40% of his blood flow was backwards. And this guy was going to run 100 miles on a treadmill? Impressive.

Bob finished his 100 mile run the following after 26 hours, 16 minutes, and 24 seconds on the treadmill--think of that the next time you complain about having to move an outdoor run onto the treadmil. Bob also announced his intent on setting the world record for the greatest distance covered in one week on the treadmill, currently set at 468.04 miles. One amazing guy and one amazing runner.

As runners we are fortunate to be able to run even a mile and for many of us, we are fortunate to run in some fantastic races in amazing cities around the country and world. If you haven't done it before, pick a race and pick a charity. It's amazing how much more meaningful a race is when you have a purpose above and beyond the training. We can learn a lot from guys like Bob.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Here's Spit in Your Eye

Most runners collect bibs and medals. I have a folder in my desk with all the bibs from every race I've run. In a shadowbox on my office shelf, I have my collection of medals. As a kid, I collected coins, and comic books, but never understood the allure of stamps. My latest collection? Spit.

My video blog explains this bizarre collection.

This Collection Ain't Worth Spit from Ty Godwin on Vimeo.

My spit is in the mail off for analysis. Stay tuned for the results...I know you're on the edge of your seat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Seeking Philadelphia

SeekingBostonMarathon has been on the road a lot lately. Last week was my Green Acres week with a fantastic run in New York's Central Park followed by a" middle of nowhere" run in Colorado on a country road all in the same week. This week I took my running "intensities in ten cities" tour to Philadelphia.

Since the running sponsors haven't found my home address, or web site address, I still rely on my day job in software sales to pay the bills, but the silver lining is that it allows me to book training runs in some very cool places.

Once again, I polled twitterland and my run peeps on DailyMile for some recommended routes for a scheduled eight mile tempo run. Kristin on DailyMile suggested the Kelly Drive Loop which "wraps around the art museum. a really nice scenic flat run." You can catch more details on MapMyRun.

With meetings in Plymouth Meeting, PA and staying at the airport, I picked another run that was highly recommended; the Schuylkill River Trail. There are several spots to pick this up including in the city. I opted for the Manayunk Trail Head. After loading up on some liquids from the CVS Pharmacy, I parked the car to slip into my run gear. I'm sure it didn't look good to the passersby, but I've done this trick before. A few quick minutes and I had transformed from technology geek to shoes, shorts and a singlet.

The route had a mix of river and railroad scenery with crushed pebble, dirt, neighborhood asphalt and even fifteen feet of cobblestone. Along the way, there was plenty of trees to provide some shade, but it was still pushing 90 degrees when I ran. (I promise not to complain about running in the cold ever again.) The late night with clients the night before didn't help my hydration so it wasn't the best run as far as my performance, but this was merely a training run. I somehow managed to push goal pace miles in the heat at 6:39, 6:54, 7:04, and 6:57 with a three mile warm-up before and one mile cooldown (completely ironic term for those running conditions.)

Mainstreet in Manayunk has plenty to offer after a run with local restaurants and pubs right at the Trail Head. I'd have to give it two thumbs up for the visiting runner. If you are a Philly local, post your favorite here or on my Facebook page and if you come across the Oakleys I lost on the route, please enjoy them--they have some good miles (and races) on them.

About Me

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine